Tuesday, September 29, 2009

moving to wordpress


Until I get super fancy, and serious about blogging, I've moved to Wordpress! Ah, thank God.


please and thanks and x's and o's and more posts tomorrow,


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Leftover Queen

This weekend I had had breakfast, lunch and dinner planned out like usual.. but we were entertaining out of town house guests and naturally, BOTH of my breakfast plans had to be re-scheduled. :( I hate missing out on oats in the morning. Boo.

Friday night I painfully agreed to go a Mexican restaurant 20 miles away or so, because Jen (my housemate and co-worker) had said the food was good and comparable to Tucson. High doubts began to fill my brain at this point.

I have an issue that when I don't know you very well, I feel inclined to agree to things. Lie to you for the sake of, well, you. I hate to disappoint and cause unnecessary conflict, so I shrug, simply put a smile on my face and say "well, why not?" or "alright, I guess so." If I am not in agreement or completely and utterly want OUT of the conversation... I simply nod my head, or reply with the effortless "mhmm's", "oh, cool" and the always fun, "that's interesting".

I couldn't NOT go to the restaurant.. when someone invites me out for a most likely paid for dinner, I accept. On a very different spectrum, people who know me well know that I am a control freak. If I truly don't care about letting you down... I probably will decline. (Story of my high school career.)

The restaurant (yeah, back to my point) was typical real, traditional Mexican food. It was good. I had Pollo en Mole, some side salad and a few bites of re-fried beans. Mmm.. The good stuff. The positive news was that it came with a side of homemade flour tortillas! The little planning side of my brain immediately went off and told me *Egg white burritos for breakfast!*. Ahh...do I actually get to benefit from this night of Bekah style spontaneity?? Suddenly on a mission, I politely asked for a to-go box, saved half of my pollo for what would be a salad for tomorrow, stashed the flour tortillas and even poured some of the salsa in the box. Oh, I am thrifty. Three meals out of one.

Mini egg white burritos:
(Inspired by my one of my favorite breakfast spots in SD: The Mission. So tasty!)
  • 3 egg whites, whisked
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 2 mini flour tortillas
  • homemade salsa for dipping
  • sliced tomatoes, on the side

Salad with leftover pollo en mole, romaine, cabbage, red onion, almonds, blueberries tossed in a light vinaigrette of: safflower oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Scrumptious!

I did eat oats anyway this weekend. I'll post em tomorrow.. but once again, breakfast wins me over! Oats for dinner last night, and chilled oats for lunch today. That's all for now.. Going to bed, anxiously awaiting my oats for breakfast! BTW- I've been doing Jillian Michaels "Biggest Winner" dvds for the past couple weeks now, and I honestly didn't think anyone could make me sweat like Dave Farmar but sorry Dave, for being only a 30 minute DVD, Jillian basically makes your Utkatasana look like, Savasana. Power yoga still kicks my tush though- literally.

xo, B

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Damage done... Grocery shopping.

Yes. It looks like a lot. That's because it was a lot. My fridge was completely EMPTY though...I promise. I'm the kind of girl that either grocery shops once a day, or 1-2 times a month. And this was one of those shopping trips, in which I hope I don't have to return for a good 3-4 weeks.

I'm a firm believer in eating organic when possible... especially here in East Texas where I don't know where the non-organic food is coming from. One of the reasons why I eat a lot of whole, real, simple foods is because I don't like eating when I don't know what went into it! That's why I stick with what I know, and cook. If I do go out, believe me.. I have already done my research, and usually am prepared with something to order. ;) Like I've told you before, I'm a planner.

Walmart Grocery Trip:

Surprisingly Walmart has gone to some new lengths to provide us picky eaters with a wide array of organic foods. Thanks to companies like Our World and Earthbound Walmart has come through. :) For me, its worth the extra few bucks. A head of cabbage and a bag of romaine lasts me a while too. Walmart even carries Greek yogurt! Who else remembers the days when Greek yogurt could only be purchased at Trader Joe's? Oh, how times have changed. Honestly, thank God.

My organic produce and conventionally grown bananas (up the wazoooo- I'm planning on many bowls of "Whipped Banana Oats" KERF style. That woman is a food blogger extraordinaire and I'm in awe everytime I read. I just recently joined the blog community, and I feel like catching up and re-reading all of her old posts.

Single packaged frozen chicken breasts- for the single, one plate girl that I am. And PB &CO flavored peanut butter! I was so surprised Walmart carried it. It was exactly what I was looking for, and they had it. *Victory DANCE!*

  • 2 1 lb bags of organic carrots
  • 2 organic celery hearts
  • 1 bag organic romaine
  • 1 head organic cabbage
  • 1 bag organic green onions
  • 10 Gala apples (They didn't have Fuji! :( )
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 red onions
  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes
  • lotsaaa bananas
  • 1 box (6-7) all natural chicken breast
  • 2 dozen organic eggs
  • 1 box greek yogurt (4 4 oz containers)
  • 2 bags frozen peas
  • 1 bag frozen spinach
  • 1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 jar Chocolate Dreams PB (by PB&CO)
  • 1 jar White chocolate PB (by PB&CO)
  • 1 container unsweetened cocoa
  • 8 cans low sodium, white meat tuna
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 1 can chickpeas

Damage done: $ 80.80

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

experimental protein pancakes

A few weeks ago I bought an Arrowhead Mills buckwheat pancake mix, because in the small grocery budget that I have access to, I don't buy any flour, sugar or baking products. Psh, why would I anyway? The flippin oven DOESN'T WORK! But, you already knew that.

I was having a pancake craving the other day. I rarely buy pancakes mixes. I grew up eating my mom's homemade whole wheat pancakes, and still to this day, we make all our pancakes from scratch. My mother made me home made blue corn pancakes (I love the fact that Whole Foods carries blue cornmeal) before moving (temporarily) to East Texas. Me+Whole Foods=True Love.

Culinary objective: Make chocolate protein pancakes.

Now, I would have liked to used cocoa powder and chocolate chips, but I'm trying to hold out grocery shopping, so these guys were chocolaty only from the whey protein. They could use another test run, I think less milk or more pancake mix for the ratio of protein I used. They were a little dense, but thin at the same time. Kind of like a crepe. But not very flexible as crepes normally are.

Chocolate Protein Pancakes:
  • 2/3 cup pancake mix (two servings)
  • 3 egg whites, whisked
  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 2 tsp safflower oil
  • splash vanilla
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • maple syrup or honey for dipping
The pancakes with honey and walnuts for the top.

Naturally, I had a a few leftovers. So I saved them for the next day for Stuffed Chocolate Protein Crepes!

Stuffed Chocolate Protein Crepes:
  • 3 or 4 leftover Chocolate Protein Pancakes
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • handful frozen cherries
  • PB, granola for topping
I mixed MORE chocolate protein in the yogurt, spread a little on each pancake rolled it up, plated it, topped with the leftover chocolate yogurt, PB and granola. Pretty darn good for having no chocolate chips or cocoa powder. I actually liked the chilled crepe better than the pancake version.

Interesting, no? I think you may have to like the taste of protein powder to like these babies.

Re-reading Twilight in the background. Utter Tuesday morning perfection.

It's time. I need to go grocery shopping. After dinner tonight, I think I'll try and conquer my ongoing fear of Walmart and get some cheap eats. Healthy and tasty nonetheless.

xo, B

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Grilled meatloaf?

Grilled meatloaf? Whoa. You might be thinking.. no way right? The grill cannot maintain even temperatures in order for the meatloaf to come out right.

Wrong. Foodie success up here in East Texas! I have access to the most beautiful six burner, gas stove but sadly, the oven is not function-able at the moment, due to the gas lines or something. Regardless, I made meatloaf! I had a 14 oz package of grass-fed beef I wanted to get the most out of for my buck; so I was really set on making this meatloaf. I baked it in a regular 9-inch baking pan, set out on a cookie sheet (preferably one you don't mind getting lovely black grill marks on the bottom of), set on the grill, covered at about 350-400 degrees. Mine came out after 45 minutes or so.

I paired my meatloaf with Picky Eater's recipe of Tuscan Chickpea Soup. I only had one can of chickpeas, compared to three, but it still turned out quite tasty. Instead of Parmesan on top, I used its tasty, slightly-forgotten sister, Pecorino Romano. YUM!

Here's my meatloaf recipe:
  • 14 oz package grass-fed beef
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup marinara or tomato sauce
  • chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus a little grated on top!
  • 1/2 of an onion, chopped/grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or garlic salt
  • salt and pepper
Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes.

Seeing as I cooked the meatloaf, ON THE GRILL... the bottom came out a little burnt, but it was still super moist and tasty. No ketchup needed! And I have lunch for the week.

No, it's not very pretty... but I get an "A" for taste. The grill didn't compromise flavor!

It seems like I've been blogging away all day, but I'm just trying to get organized. If anyone has ANY tips on how to make my navigation bar, more, um, attractive, let me know. It was all I ended up with after a very frustrating two days of html research.

xo, B

Who is Beek?

The name's Bekah and I'm 18 and ready to be 30. My plans are to one day have a career that involves cooking or food, and incorporates nutrition, healthy eats, travel and wellness, etc. I decided to take the unconventional route, and go to culinary school, instead of university. As long as I was going to cook, I wanted to go to the best school possible. I'm headed to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY this January to start my strenuous but quick 38 months to complete a B.P.S. in Culinary Arts Management.

Thankfully at the C.I.A. you can obtain a full degree! (Thank God.) I don't necessarily want to be 'chef-fing' all my life, nor am I sure I even want to open or start a restaurant/business; but the C.I.A. will introduce me to many other culinary career options, that might be more appropriate for what I want to do. Let's be honest here... graduating from the C.I.A. for culinarians is comparable to being a lawyer with a degree from Harvard. Similarly, I fully expect to be drowning in student loans after I graduate. But hey, it happens to the best of us right?

Apart from food, I have many other loves including my growing relationship with Jesus whom I am blessed by everyday; fashion, fitness, wellness and travel. My ideal perfect life would be backpacking/biking/hiking across the entire continental US to find tasty vacation spots. (Maybe with an insanely attractive guy... I don't know, I'm aiming for perfection here...) After that, I would continue on to Europe and spend my days doing yoga, eating pain du chocolat and finding the best Greek food.

Some of my favorite foods: coffee, chocolate, honey, peanut butter, oatmeal, poached eggs, almonds, chicken salad, gelato, fro yo, grilled fish, tomato basil soup, wood fired pizza, artisan sandwiches (stay tuned for a Tucson post of all my favorite eats in my hometown) and all things that are associated with breakfast and dessert. Dessert for breakfast? Hell to the yes.

At the moment I am interning at a brand-spankin-new (so new, I've already seen it close and re-open) restaurant in East Texas. I'm the pastry gal, and I make all the restaurant's desserts from scratch. After this stint, I don't think I'll be returning to East Texas, well, ever. Not my kind of town, we'll just say that. Although, I have met some very neat people and I'm enjoying my experience.

Some pictures of me....

At Chelsea Market in NYC summer of 2008, fantasizing about sneaking into the Iron Chef America head quarters and maybe catching a glimpse of frequent guest judge and Bon Appetit Foodist, Andrew Knowlton! (Failure.) Boo.

Frosting mini spice cakes with my cream cheese frosting for a middle school graduation I catered.

My parents and I- I catered the event two years in a row for my senior class project, and quickly learned that despite my successes, catering is NOT something I want to pursue. Not fun.

Back in the massive church kitchen working with the mom helpers!

Golden BIG ONE-EIGHT! Best birthday ever.

Getting my cookbooks signed by.... GIADA! Of the the 25 words I spoke to her, she seemed just as inviting as she does on television. Love her, and yes, I shed tears.

Senior formal with my favorite gal pals.

What originally got me cooking.. I baked my cupcakes for my sweet sixteen!

Always and forever. Dinner with my besties at my favorite restaurant,Cafe Poca Cosa in Tucson.

xo, B

Monday, September 21, 2009

culinary point of view

I believe most of my readers are fellow friends and family that live in my hometown of Tucson, Arizona. They know I haven't been cooking for very long, only about three years, but they also know how passionate I am about my cooking and how food influences my everyday life. My future colleagues at The Culinary Institute of America and my fellow foodie/'bloggie' (as I eloquently call them in my own head) friends don't know anything about my cooking, other than what I showcase here.

As an avid Food Network and "Top Chef" devotee, I often question my culinary skill and ability, and wonder, do I have what it takes to be a chef? A cyber foodie extraordinaire? Food writer? Nutritionist? Food stylist for Gourmet? Oh hit me baby: I just want to do something that has to do with food. Please. Giada makes it look so easy. Watching her show, yes, you could say I want to be a Food Network star. One of my fellow employees at the Magnolia House tilted their head when I told him about my secret dream, and just laughed and said "Nah, you couldn't. You're shy." SHY??? Seriously? Okay, maybe so. But just at first. I tend to lean more towards the description of "adult", "mature" and "quiet"; but I am by no means shy.

The point being: On "The Next Food Network Star" all of the contestants are faced with the million dollar question of the day: "What is your culinary point of view?" In other words, how will your point of view become the next "30 minute meal"? What do YOU have to offer to the table that no one else does?

This is my subtle attempt at a culinary point of view. No, it isn't quite short enough to get me on "The Next Food Network Star" and I still have to find my niche, but I have a few years.

I grew up eating organics, health ridden products, grass-fed beef, the "brown" eggs, etc. and was raised in a family where feeding the body was an act of nourishment. Every meal was eaten at the dining room table. I had to eat breakfast. I had to eat my vegetables. I remember throwing up eggs because I couldn't handle the taste every morning after I let them sit for a few minutes, because I refused to eat them. I was only able to eat my Van's frozen chocolate chip waffle, if I ate the egg too.

Naturally, I felt deprived as a child, but as I got older I grew to appreciate and love the healthy foods I used to cringe at. Then I started cooking. I made the decision that making healthy food delicious was fun! That's what I wanted to do.

My culinary point of view has been influenced by many books, movies, and famous foodies over the years but most importantly: the Slow Food movement, Michael Pollan and his two books Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, the recent movie "Food Inc.", Giada De'Laurentiis (The Italian queen of the Food Network.) and my family.

xo, B

Just a few of my favorite meals from my favorite restaurants that I might consider as my style, if I EVER was able to open up my own cafe/restaurant. Healthy, fresh, local, organic ingredients prepared in the best way possible. I love breakfast!